Day 34 – 2nd August 2020 – Lovendegem Belgium to London via Calais
I’m up and at em this morning… even though it is less than 2 hours to Calais I really don’t want to be late. I have checked out my booking for the tunnel and see that I must complete a form before I will be allowed to enter the UK. This is a covid tracking form that must be completed by everyone before entering the UK. It is very long; it asks questions about any previous names I might have had, dates of entry and exit for each country visited in the last 2 weeks, how long will I stay in the UK and where… maybe it’s just me, but it feels like more than just health tracking.
I parked Minnie at the front of the main building last night so as I am going that way into the breakfast area I take all my bags and load up the bike first. In for brekkie and am all alone. It seems I’m the only guest, although I did hear other people last evening. I help myself to breakfast; Kurt doesn’t make an appearance so I just tidy up and get the last of my belongings before leaving my keys in reception.
I totally recommend this place, it is really great and Kurt was very nice.
I decide to take the fast roads, but no tolls, to Calais… I do still manage to capture a couple of interesting things on the way…
and… how now brown cow….
staring at me…. I told you.. scary.
Eventually, however, I am on the motorway… and in France.
At one point it starts to rain, not too bad and I already have my waterproof trousers on so don’t bother stopping to put the liner in my jacket.
I am riding along in the middle lane and suddenly there is a black tar line right in the middle that catches my front wheel…. ooooo wobble, wobble… no don’t like that! My heart is in my mouth and then I do it a-bloody-gain….. stop it! That was blooming scary I can tell you, I mean wobbling on a motorcycle at 75mph in the rain is no joke. I manage to avoid the tar snake for the next few miles and then it disappears.. good.
A few miles further on and there is a rut in the road… it looks like a vehicle has dragged something along that has cut a groove into the road… guess what.. yep in to it I go.. wobble wobble again….. but am ok, it is only very brief thank goodness.
Very soon I arrive at Calais and the Eurotunnel terminal. I check in and go through passport control. I am told to wait in lane 9, which is a bit odd as all the other bikes and cars are in lanes 1, 2 and 3… I am here on my own. I see a young chap start to make his way over to me.. ok so I’m in the wrong place I think.. yes, he asks me if I can turn around.. well, not really there isn’t enough room so he talks on his squawk box and tells me I can stay there, they have made a mistake telling me lane 9… oh good it wasn’t me then.
The other lanes are called forward and then it is my turn…. I manage to catch up with the other bikes as we are held waiting to board the train while they let the cars on first
Once on board I spend the whole journey chatting to the guy parked next to me… he is riding a Harley Softail Slim… nice bike… I am moaning about Minnie…. ah Minnie and Moaning Minnie, we make a great pair don’t you think… hahaha. We also talk about Harleys and touring, he seems like a nice chap, apart from being a member of Chelsea and Fulham Harley Owners Group.. they are seriously posh!!
Of the train and straight on to the M20 towards London. I don’t really want to ride all the way home on the motorway so turn off towards Chatham.. then I remember I really hate riding in Chatham so try to avoid it by going into Rochester… a very historic place it is too
but, alas I am still routed via Chatham so have to put up with the terrible traffic trying to cross the river Medway.. there are roadworks actually on the bridge.
Once out of Chatham I take the A20 all the way to the M25 and through the Dartford tunnel and am soon riding into London and home.
I am very glad to be here I must say.. it has been an unusual tour and I think I will need time to fully reflect on everything that has happened, but especially what I am going to do with Minnie… wait and see.